6 of Cups--a card of kindness.

6 of Cups–a card of kindness.

When given the choice between cruelty or kindness, choose kindness.
Also, there’s always a choice. 

That was one of the main messages I received on my last trance journey experience. I was frustrated with a number of people–the main person being myself. Other people weren’t doing what I wanted and how I wanted. wasn’t even being the person I wanted to be. The journey showed me just how cruel I was being in my judgments. Mostly, I was being cruel to me. I live with a constant internal barrage of, “You’re not a good person. You’re a bad person. People don’t like you. Think of all you’ve done to hurt others. Let me remind you of something you said to a classmate in the third grade….”

I know logically that it’s not true. I know that I try. I know that I make mistakes. I also know that others make mistakes, too. Once Brigid said to me while in meditation, “What in the world makes you think you could go through life and never hurt another person? What makes you think you could possibly achieve being perfect? Do you think you’re more than human? That’s quite an ego you’ve got there, Coco.”

I’m working on it. I really am. Most of my meditations lately have been on self-love. I’ve finally accepted that withholding self-love does not make me more powerful or a “better Spirit.” Rather, it makes me tired and resentful of everything. It makes it harder to share love. It makes it impossible to be loved.

When given the choice between cruelty or kindness, choose kindness.
Also, there’s always a choice. 

Wednesday night, I was riding the subway home from my writing class when a man sitting near me sneezed. I looked up and said, “Bless you.” He looked up too and our eyes met for a moment. He was clearly experiencing homelessness. He looked tired. He also didn’t look well. He said, “Thank you. Thank you very much.” I smiled and went back to reading my book. A few stops later, the man rose to get off at his stop. Before he left the train, he said to me, “Have a good night, baby. You’re a real good person. A real good person. God bless you.” I nodded and smiled again, not looking up from my book. A woman’s safety in New York often depends on her not engaging with anyone. Being too friendly can be an invitation to be stalked. Good sir, if you happen to be reading this, it’s not that I didn’t want to talk to you, but I did need to look out for me. It was late and I was alone. I hope you understand. 

But I wanted to cry. I wanted to go hug that man and say, “Thank you. I needed to meet you tonight more than you know.” My acknowledging his sneeze was something he clearly needed. He couldn’t have known how much I needed to hear his kind words. He had a choice. He didn’t have to talk to me. He didn’t have to tell me he thought I was a good person. But he chose kindness. He made my night.

When given the choice, choose kindness. 

So, I’m trying. When I get frustrated with a caustic book-reviewer, a ball-dropping co-worker, a neurotic Covener, or a family member who just won’t open a rusted-shut mind, I want to throw a fit right in their face. Or, I want to complain about them to someone who agrees with me.  Sometimes, I do the former, anyway. But I make a conscious effort to choose kindness. What does it cost me? Nothing. What does cruelty achieve? Nothing. What can kindness achieve? A lot.

I’m also working on being kind to me. That may be the toughest part and when I figure it out, I promise you’ll be the first to know. But listening to the man on the subway and taking his words to my tired heart may just be a start.

Meanwhile, back at Huffpo….

A few of my thoughts on Ostara were included in this lovely article! 

kazoka30 via Getty Images

kazoka30 via Getty Images

P.s., I found a meme that truly gets me.